When people think of Bryan “Birdman” Williams they think of a rapper and one of the co-founders of the record label Cash Money. If one were to dig deeper they’d discover that Birdman is also one of the most accomplished businessmen and entrepreneurs in the music game. After already finding success selling clothing and shoes, Birdman has made theGrio’s100 for founding Cash Money Content, a book publishing company.
Birdman sat down with theGrio to talk about his new book company, Cash Money’s legacy in music and the importance of education when building a brand.
What is your mindset when investing into untested business opportunities?
First thing I do is study the field. Get the knowledge needed so I can be extremely hands-on. When we launched Cash Money Content, our book publishing company, I hired an agent who’s been in the game for 30 years and we made it real.
Did you ever go to college?
I’ve never been to college. I’ve always been interested in going back to school to finish and to also advance myself as a person. I’d do anything to grow intellectually and to improve my brand.
Does a college education translate into being able to run a successful business?
School is necessary. I would never take nothing away from that. I was just one of the fortunate ones. That’s rare for a business of this magnitude. I’d tell anyone to get as much school as possible because education is key.
Seventeen years ago, did you imagine Cash Money would be this successful?
Well, you envision trying to be the best but when live that reality it’s totally different. We work hard every day. When we first got in the game we were just excited to be here. Time and experience has kept us focus when it came to handling our business.
Some of the rap labels that Cash Money have competed against are no longer with us, what has kept Cash Money around?
God and us being focused and dedicated to music. Cash Money is a brand that has always had talent to push. With my son, Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj, we’re continuing to be trendsetters in this field.
You mention your brand; a young woman is currently holding you and Cash Money responsible for a sexual assault that occurred in a studio rented by the label. Would you like to comment on that?
I can’t really say anything on that. I don’t know you get caught into things like that and I had nothing to do with that.
For your fans that believe in Cash Money is there anything you want to tell them?
In no kind of way my brother and I had nothing to do with that situation. We’re positive people who are about making money and helping people make money. That type of activity we don’t indulge in or care to indulge in. I hope the best for the young lady. Whatever happened to her, life’s not meant to be that way.
Hip-hop moguls like Jay-Z and Diddy, are entrepreneurs who have diversified whatever industries they’ve touched. Does Birdman belong in this category?
I feel I definitely belong with them. They both run great companies, but I want Cash Money to do better than our competitors. We’re a brand that dominates rap, and I’d like to continue to spread to other genres. There has never been a billion dollar rap label and my goal is to be the first.
Follow Birdman here on Twitter.
Follow Kyle Harvey on Twitter at @HarveyWins